For more than 20 years, Farrell & Croft, P.C. has helped spouses through mediation services. Whether serving as your mediator or as your individual counsel, Farrell & Croft, P.C. can help craft an equitable resolution of your family law issues.
Based in Manassas, Virginia, we assist with mediation throughout Prince William County. We encourage you to contact us if you have questions about how we may serve you.
Divorce mediation is a process that allows divorcing spouses to work cooperatively to resolve issues raised in separation and divorce for the benefit of their family with the assistance of a mediator. Mediators provide neutral communication facilitation between the parties and encourage problem solving by the parties.
For those willing to give full disclosure of their financial situation, custody and divorce mediation may be the answer. Mediation empowers you to problem solve and keeps the decision-making within the control of the parties, not a judge or another person. A successful mediation can provide the foundation for effective communication. And builds a bridge to understanding. Therefore, mediation is especially useful in cases involving children. Remember parents have an ongoing parental relationship regardless of the status of their marital relationship.
When you engage in the custody and divorce mediation process, it is important to note that the mediator is neutral and does not represent either party. The role of the mediator is to facilitate productive communication, to instill decorum and civility, but not to provide legal advice. The successful mediation ends with a signed mediated agreement. The written agreement is prepared by the mediator. The parties can have the agreement reviewed by his or her counsel prior to signing. The role of counsel in a case handled through mediation is straightforward — to provide legal advice and counsel to his or her client.
All mediation sessions require the appearance and participation of both parties. In addition, counsel are welcome to attend but are not required at the mediation sessions. The parties are encouraged to communicate with counsel as the need for clarification of legal rights and legal advice becomes apparent either during the mediation sessions our outside of the mediation sessions.
Mediation is a confidential process. Except within limited facts, no documentation or information obtained solely in mediation is admissible in litigation. Mediator's notes cannot be subpoenaed in litigation. Mediators cannot be required to testify at trial or otherwise except in very limited circumstances.
The initial session lasts from 1.5 - 2 hours. At the initial session the mediator will get a sense of what the parties are disputing and what the parties have already agreed upon. Follow-up sessions will vary in length but will generally no less than 1 hour. Many cases are concluded in several sessions; the total number of sessions required depends on the parties and the issues.
The parties equally share the mediation fee and it is payable at the time of the sessions. As a result, the overall cost of mediation is often less than any other method of conflict resolution. Additional deposits are required prior to the drafting of the agreement.
Any party may bring his or her counsel to attend the sessions but are not required to do so. Especially important is that both parties will be encouraged to have the agreement reviewed by their counsel prior to signing it. Upon request, drafts of the agreements will be forwarded by the mediator directly to counsel.